Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fears and Frustrations

Well, the end of this month will herald the end of the two month wait until I can expect that anyone at Tor has even opened the envelope containing my book proposal. After that, I can expect a wait of up to four months before I hear anything. As busy as I try to keep myself, it seems that I have enough time to be vexed about it all. Perhaps I should take up something else as well!

That is not the most vexing thing about this terrifying wait though. What is even more frustrating, what has me in cold sweats and sometimes unable to sleep at night is the fact that all the story snippets I have in my head, all the ones I have written down and typed up, are going absolutely nowhere. I can't make sense of them. I can't see a pattern in them. They just are - brain explosions on paper that are just sitting there doing nothing and going nowhere.

I know that I am probably stressing unnecessarily here. After all, I first imagined Julian (my main character) some eleven years ago, and it took this long to get him into a completed narrative. Though to be fair I only seriously sat down to write about him after I finished University two years ago. Even still, Julian's tale was different from these other ones. There was an urgency to tell it, a profound driving need to get the story out and bring it to life. This drive is decidedly lacking in all the other ideas.

Granted, that's probably because these ideas are still in their infancy. They haven't yet been fleshed out and given direction. And yet....

I'm so afraid right now that The Great Man was the only story I had in me. I'm terrified that I won't have a career as an author because of it. I'm irritated that none of my other ideas seem to be going anywhere and I'm frustrated at myself for being so unable and so damned unsure.

Just get up and get it done, right?

Every morning I try and say a positive affirmation to set me straight for the day. For the past month, I've told myself that there are many stories that I have the wit and ability to tell. Even though I've been telling myself this for months, I'm still filled with nagging doubt and weighty fear.

This sucks!

*Deep breath*

Alright, I'm done whinging about how inept I feel right now. I'm off to read some stories on authonomy.com and then collect more of those ideas that are still swilling around my head. Hopefully this feeling won't last that long and I'll be deep into another tale before the month is out.

2 comments:

Kendra said...

I don't know anything about the geas that drives authors, but it sounds like you're suffering a case of "what if"s. Now that your baby is out there and ready be scrutinized, thoughts of "what if I had put in" and the such have reared their ugly head. If there are tweaks to be made, your new editor will be helping you with that.

As for the roaming snippets, write them down. Maybe they turn into something, maybe not. I know that my brain likes to mull on what ifs, not letting me sleep in fear that I'll forget something. So I write them down. It convinces my brain I won't forget it, and it relaxes and calms down for the night. Maybe that will help.

Just like the quilters and the DJ's and the artists that I've known, I highly doubt you are going to stop at one book. And if you do, then maybe that is what was meant to be. But I doubt you're ever going to stop being a story teller, even if your medium changes.

S. M. Carrière said...

Kendra,

Ever you are the voice of reason to my madness! Thanks for that. I do write all of my snippets down, and I have notebook after notebook of scribbled ideas, half-remembered dreams and vague recollections of childhood.

I do like your last sentence - even if the medium changes. It put a smile on my face.

Thank-you again!